Children give views on teaching phonics and favorite...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 07, 1998

Children give views on teaching phonics and favorite books

My class discussed your article "Two different teaching methods yield similarly low scores" (Oct. 3). Both schools should have spent their money more wisely.

I think the schools should combine phonics and whole language because that might bring them up to at least a 2.0-grade reading level. Also, if you showed children different kinds of writing, they might look forward to reading and writing. The teachers could have visited other schools to look for more ideas.

I hope the students at both schools get 2.0 next year. It is important not to get behind in reading.

Reed Blaylock

Pikesville

Grace and St. Peters School

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I am sorry that the two schools, City Springs Elementary and Lyndhurst Elementary, can't teach their students to get up to 2.0 by the end of first grade, although they are pushing hard.

I think schools that can't decide if they should teach reading with phonics or whole language could try teaching half a school year teaching phonics and the other half teaching whole language. They could do that because it could be more interesting and the kids will pay more attention.

Heather DeBell

Baltimore

Grace and St. Peters School

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There should be a combination of phonics and whole language. Maybe it could be called "phole language" because children would get a little bit of both. I think the students would get higher scores if they could figure out new words and realize that reading opens doors to amazing stories and knowledge.

I hope when principals come to their senses, you'll publish more articles like this. But I hope they will have headlines like, "Test scores really affected by teaching methods."

Lily C. Gordon

Baltimore

Grace and St. Peters School

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Classes should be smaller, and both schools should spend some money for books on tape so parents who can't read can learn to follow the words along with their children at home. I hope both schools will improve, no matter whose suggestions they follow.

Sandy Grillo

Randallstown

Grace and St. Peters School

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If you are just taught phonics, you won't see the fun in reading, and if you are only taught whole language, you won't know how to sound out big words.

Also, both schools need a nice, quiet place to read. I think you also should have written about the students' parents. If they don't read to their children, the students might not see the fun in reading.

I hope both schools will look at other schools that have good readers and start making their students better readers.

Rosalind Kreizenbeck

Baltimore

Grace and St. Peters School

I think children would have read more if they had spent money on books for kids to read at home with their parents. They should also use some money for workbooks.

The students should read in a comfortable area. One school library our teacher told us about has old-fashioned bathtubs with cushions in them.

Michael Frection

Bowie

Grace and St. Peters School

Reading problems are partly the parents' fault because they probably don't read to their children enough and let them watch too much TV.

The teachers have their faults, too, because they didn't combine the two teaching methods. Maybe children could increase their vocabulary by reading more advanced books.

Or, if the school is only going to teach the phonics method, they could make it fun by playing Scrabble and other word games like we did on rainy days in first grade.

Taylor Beckham

Baltimore

Grace and St. Peters School

Pinderhughes third-graders share their favorite books

Reading helps me learn new things. I like to read because it's fun. A story I like a lot is "The Brass Ring," by Nancy Tafuri. It's about a girl who goes to the circus, rides on a horse and wins a golden ring.

Kelly Dukes

Baltimore

William Pinderhughes Elementary

My favorite reading experience would be to write my own book. If I could, the title would be "Be Kind to the Earth." It would be about how to treat the Earth so it will stay around for the future.

Jamaal Wilton Baltimore William Pinderhughes Elementary I want become a better reader. I read every day to become a better reader. I once read a book called "Curious George," by H. A. Rey. It is my favorite book.

Vic Fenner

Baltimore

William Pinderhughes Elementary

Fulton Elementary fourth-graders' readings

My favorite book is called "Taking Care of Your Dog." It is my favorite because I can learn how to take care of my dogs. Dogs are my second-favorite animal.

My dogs are very important to me, and that is why this is my favorite book.

Also, this book shows every kind of dog, some people have never heard of. Dogs are fun to be with, and they protect people.

Roni Suit

Clarksville

Fulton Elementary

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My favorite book is "Moby Dick." It is very exciting when the men catch a big whale and it crashes into the boat, breaking the vessel in half. It's kind of a funny story because a person falls off the boat and lands face first in the water.

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